Washington Square Press
On Sale: February 12, 2019
Trade Size / e-Book (reprint)
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In this â€śnuanced, sharp, and beautifully writtenâ€ť
(Michael Chabon) debut novel, a young man prepares to serve
in the Israeli army while also trying to reconcile his close
relationship to two Palestinian siblings with his deeply
ingrained loyalties to family and country.
The story begins in an Israeli military jail, whereâ€”four
days after his nineteenth birthdayâ€”Jonathan stares up at the
fluorescent lights of his cell and recalls the series of
events that led him there.
Two years earlier: Moving back to Israel after several years
in Pennsylvania, Jonathan is ready to fight to preserve and
defend the Jewish state. But he is also conflicted about the
possibility of having to monitor the occupied Palestinian
territories, a concern that grows deeper and more urgent
when he meets Nimreen and Laithâ€”the twin daughter and son of
his motherâ€™s friend.
From that morning on, the three become inseparable:
wandering the streets on weekends, piling onto buses toward
new discoveries, laughing uncontrollably. They share joints
on the beach, trading snippets of poems, intimate secrets,
family histories, resentments, and dreams. But with his
draft date rapidly approaching, Jonathan wrestles with the
question of what it means to be proud of your heritage,
while also feeling love for those outside of your own
family. And then that fateful day arrives, the one that
lands Jonathan in prison and changes his relationship with
the twins forever.
â€śUnflinching in its honesty, unyielding in its moral
complexityâ€ť (Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prizeâ€“winning
author), Sadness Is a White Bird explores one manâ€™s
attempts to find a place for himself, discovering in the
process a beautiful, against-the-odds love that flickers
like a candle in the darkness of a never-ending conflict.
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